Produce Wednesday, Strawberries, & Spring Cleaning Accomplishments…


It’s Produce Wednesday! Strawberries! Yippee!

Today’s bounty:

    Fingerling Potato Mix (Rose Finn and Austrian Crescent)
    Eggplant–> Strawberries
    Strawberries
    Rainbow Chard
    Avocado–> Zucchini
    Zucchini
    Boston lettuce
    Bunched Carrots
    Golden Nugget Tangerines
    Grapefruit
    Mango
    Bananas

I subbed out the eggplant for more strawberries and the avocado for more zucchini. I know I just posted a great use for avocados, but I’m picky about my avocados. I like to pick them out myself… I like to buy them a bit under-ripe, so that they will make the trip through the checkout and back home unbruised… can’t even tell you the number of bruised avocados I’ve had over the years… then I let them continue to ripen on my counter… it just works out better for me that way.

Since strawberries seem to have a very short shelf-life, I cleaned those bad boys up right away…

Then I made salads a few hours later… romaine, strawberries, pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette…

When last I left you, I had a long list of items I was going to make, to help out with my pantry spring cleaning. Here was my game plan:

I only had enough time to do a few things, so I chose to do the simpler ones that way I could get more recipes made.

The fun balls used up the last of my walnuts, the rest of my Lindt dark chocolate bar, and about half of my dates. I used a ratio of nuts:dates nearly one to one (1:1) with there being just a few extra dates to allow everything to stick together… (roughly 90g walnuts, 104g dates plus two more dates, 3/4 of a Lindt dark chocolate bar, pinch of salt). I was having issues with my magic bullet, it was both grinding the crap out of the nuts and leaving big chunks… ditto on the chocolate… so it looks like I might have used cocoa power, but no, it is ground chocolate bar. So when you bite into a ball you get date gooey goodness with chunks of walnuts and chocolate. I also added a pinch of salt which you can taste ever so slightly and it just rounds out it’s awesomeness. It made about 15 balls, of which I put in snack size baggies, 3 each…

Next up I made mashed potatoes and the protein bars at the same time… for the mashed potatoes I had 3 russet potatoes, which I cut into cubes but not peeled… already in the pot was boiling water with some garlic granules, some dried onion flakes, some dulse flakes, some dried rosemary, and pepper… I boiled the potatoes for about 30 min. Then I mashed them still on the burner into the cooking water, then added a dollop of earth balance and a splash of silk. On my plate I added a pinch of salt to the potatoes. I do not discard the cooking water… it becomes part of the mashed potatoes, retaining any nutrients from the potato and also requiring less ‘butter’ and ‘milk’ to make them creamy… My method in pictures can be found here. Sorry I don’t have an on-the-plate shot, here they are in the cooking pot…

While the potatoes were boiling, I mixed up some oat/protein bars… using the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ method, I was able to use up the rest of my peanuts, shredded coconut, and mixed dried fruit. Since this was the fourth time I’ve made these bars I felt confident enough to eyeball the mixture (check out Averie’s recipe for the measurements)… the only things I measured out were the oats and the protein powder… This mix included:

    banana
    maple syrup
    chunky peanut butter
    vanilla extract
    cinnamon
    hemp protein powder
    coconut butter
    ground flax seeds
    chia seeds
    brown rice crisps cereal
    peanuts
    shredded coconut
    mixed dried fruit
    chocolate chips
    oats

I put the mix in an 8×8 saran-lined glass baking pan… there was enough saran to wrap up and cover the bars… I put the pan in the freezer overnight… then I took them out and cut them into 10 bars… then put them in snack-sized baggies and then popped them back into the freezer. These are great to toss into a lunchbox… they don’t have to be stored in the freezer, but it’s a great place to store them plus they will last longer that way, not that they stick around in our house for very long…

I was also able to make up a batch of bread dough earlier in the day (it requires a 2 hour rise time)… I chose to make 100% Whole Wheat and Flaxseed Bread (Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, p.86). I was able to use up all of my whole wheat flour. That evening, I was running out of time, so for dinner I made a quick flat bread by taking out a small ball of dough, flattening it with my hands and baking it on the pizza stone in a 450°F oven for 7-10 minutes…

And finally for my ‘find the beauty/interesting’ series…

I have some cute pics of ‘little-bit’… as always you can click on the smaller pictures to view them bigger… two of them I managed to catch his tongue out… I was holding a goody so that he’d look into the camera…

Until next time…
~nic

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One thought on “Produce Wednesday, Strawberries, & Spring Cleaning Accomplishments…

  1. Pingback: Happy St. Pat’s… « The Auspicious Squirrel

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